in Serious stuff, my friend

The day the humor died

On November 23, the humor died.
On that day, a day that Filipinos will be unable to live down, fifty-seven people were murdered in broad daylight; their mutilated bodies later buried in mass graves especially excavated for the purpose.
Suddenly, a people not given to remembrance nor reflection fell silent, prompted by cruel circumstance to take stock of their collective life.
Even the cynics were rendered speechless, at least temporarily.
The bloodbath forced those who cared enough about this country to re-examine their lives, their values, their dreams, what it meant to be Filipino, what it meant to be part of the civilized world.
It was — and still is — a task neither easy nor pleasant.
For far too long, we have indulged in the illusion that our political system, however feeble, remains stable enough to merit membership in the world’s democracies.
The Ampatuan atrocity proves that wrong.
The fact that anyone can murder scores of human beings along a national highway in broad daylight shows that Philippine society remains in the grip of the Dark Ages.
For as long as animals in Ampatuan roam free, for as long as anyone — public official or private citizen — remains confident of committing and getting away with such brazen, barbaric acts, this country cannot claim to be a part of modern society.
While the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of government officials, a portion can be attributed to ourselves — our parochialism, our selfishness, our indifference.
Every single day, we Filipinos compartmentalize our lives, always ignoring the bigger picture while in pursuit of short-term, ephemeral, and perhaps even insignificant goals.
Motivated only by our petty concerns, the urge to make a living, to beat a deadline, we take short cuts, flout rules, circumvent laws — acts that serve to support the already endemic corruption that has taken over the system.
It’s about time that changed.
Or else the fifty-seven people who died in Ampatuan — and thousands more who perished in similarly brutal tragedies — have, without question, wasted their lives.
From the Intellectual Property Department. The logo designer accompanying this blog entry will be credited as soon as s/he is identified. To whoever you may be, thanks.

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